Eberle claims star status for Canada

TERRY JONES, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

SASKATOON — Jordan Eberle was voted the most valuable player of the world juniors, given the best forward award and named a first-team all-star.

Alex Pietrangelo was named the top defenceman and awarded an all-star spot.

But neither return home with gold medals.

“Means absolutely nothing,” Eberle said.

“There was only one reward we wanted, and we came up short,” said the Regina Pats star who was picked in the first round of last year’s NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers.

Eberle scored eight goals in the tournament and ended up with 13 points.

St. Louis Blues’ prospect Pietrangelo won the top defensive player award, and contributed offensively with 12 points, including three goals to top all rearguards in the tourney.

“It’s a nice thing to get,” Pietrangelo said.

“But it gets kind of overlooked when you’re wearing the silver medal.”

The three top players of each team were also named, and projected first pick in the upcoming entry draft, Taylor Hall, was named with Eberle and Pietrangelo in that company.

“I sure wouldn’t have given up the gold medal for that,” said the Windsor Spitfires player after the overtime loss to the Americans in which he scored a goal and added an assist.

“It’s the first time I can remember that I was on other side of something like this. I’m not going to come away from this feeling very good.”

The top goaltender of the tournament was Benjamin Conz, who was brilliant for Switzerland, especially in upsetting Russia in the quarterfinal.

American overtime hero John Carlson, U.S. captain Derek Stepan and Swiss star Nino Niederreiter, who plays for the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks, were the other all-stars.

Saskatoon gave an all-star performance, as well.

The Credit Union Centre was sold out with a crowd of 15,171 for the final, almost of all them wearing red in a province where green is the colour.

Only the gold-medal game and the New Year’s Eve tilt provided sellouts in the freshly expanded Credit Union Centre, but the tournament ended up with a paid attendance of 333,123.

Ottawa established the record last year at 453,282.

Vancouver, in 2006, claimed 325,138.

The number of all numbers at this event — and in it’s crazy way the legacy of Regina-Saskatoon 2010 — was the 50-50 winnings, which likely set a world record here last night with a one-game payout of $149,700 to the winner.

For the entire tournament, the 50-50 paid out nearly $1 million to the winners.


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